St Petersburg University concluded a strategic cooperation agreement with Sichuan Province of the People’s Republic of China. The document was signed by Rector of St Petersburg University Nikolay Kropachev and Luo Qiang, Vice Governor of Sichuan Province.

As a part of Russian-Chinese scientific, technical and innovative cooperation, the signed cooperation agreement stipulates that SPbU will strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in educational, scientific and technical areas with research institutes, businesses and research parks of Sichuan Province, provide consultations on strategic decisions and help in establishing international think tanks. On the other hand, People’s Government of Sichuan Province will support SPbU in developing technology innovations, strengthening international exchanges and partner relations in technology transfer, establishing platform for cooperation with industrial enterprises, universities, research institutes, and enhancing research activities.

I believe that our strategic cooperation will be one of the key components of Russian-Chinese partnership in academic area, and a development point for scientific and technological capacities.

Rector of St Petersburg University Nikolay Kropachev

Vice Governor of Sichuan Province Luo Qiang welcomed participants of the ceremony on behalf of the People’s Government of Sichuan Province and noted that Russia and China are good neighbors, and relations between the countries have reached its historical peak. He told that during the meeting with President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in September 2022 President Xi Jinping paid attention on stable development of relations between two countries and increasing of cultural exchanges. Sichuan Province has been actively cooperating with Russia in various fields, including trade and economic areas, and developing relations in the field of education.

Since 2015, Sichuan universities have signed 23 interuniversity agreements with Russian universities. Now more than 200 students from Russia are studying in the province.

‘St Petersburg University is the first university in Russia and one of the most important scientific and educational centres in the country and the world. A number of prominent scientists and figures have appeared here, including eight Nobel Prize laureates, six Russian prime ministers, two presidents of the Russian Federation. SPbU has contributed significantly to the progress in science and world development. Our cooperation has a great potential and leads us towards a brighter future’, noted Vice Governor of Sichuan Province.

Luo Qiang proposed to expand mutual cultural exchanges by developing platforms and mechanisms for them, strengthen cooperation in human resources training and research area, and application of scientific achievements in various fields.

Earlier, in 2014, SPbU and Heilongjiang Province intensified cooperation after signing of a memorandum on education and research collaboration

Rector of St Petersburg University Nikolay Kropachev told that St Petersburg University without any exaggeration may be called the most popular Russian university among Chinese students. More than 2,000 Chinese students (about 10% of the total number of students) study at the University. Just a decade ago the number of Chinese students did not exceed 500 persons. At the same time, the number of Russian students studying Chinese has grown from 300 to 1,000. The number of academic programmes with a "Chinese component" has increased fivefold (from 12 to 60) over the past five years. Training materials for these programmes are elaborated in collaboration with Chinese experts and scientists thanks to cooperation of SPbU and the Ministry of Education of China, partner universities, the Embassy and the Consulate General of the PRC. Chinese partners are members of Councils for degree programmes, and professors from Chinese universities teach Russian students.

‘Our university was the first Russian university to sign a cooperation agreement with the Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China. SPbU is also the first and only university that signed a cooperation agreement with the Chinese national educational platform XuetangX and gained access to the largest research database CNKI. As of today, more than 110 Chinese industrial and academic organisations are partners of St Petersburg University. The visit of leaders of both countries to St Petersburg University is a remarkable example of mutual trust relations between Russia and China. June 6, 2019 was the day of the visit. On that day, at the Twelve Colleges, main building of SPbU, the ceremony of awarding an honorary doctorate diploma of St Petersburg University to Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China, took place. President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin attended the event’, said Nikolay Kropachev.

Rector of SPbU also noted that this year the first admission to the joint campus of SPbU and Harbin Institute of Technology was held. SPbU together with leading Chinese universities has established ten joint research centres.

SPbU language testing centres are opened at Tsinghua University, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Heilongjiang University, as well as in a number of other universities. In Harbin the SPbU has established the Representative office of St Petersburg University.

Nikolay Kropachev also emphasized that against the background of dynamic development of intergovernmental contacts close cooperation of the universities is becoming more and more active. Presently, among the universities of Sichuan Province SPbU cooperates only with Sichuan University, which is clearly insufficient.

‘At the moment cooperation between Russian universities and Chinese provinces is exclusive, and it makes our partnership more valuable. Federal and regional support provided to SPbU, granted with a special status, makes it a pillar for innovative development in Russia, helps to create new educational programmes focused on the latest demands of the digital and labour market, find new areas for research which would meet global challenges, build research infrastructure, research and technology parks, business incubators’, Rector of SPbU highlighted.

In conclusion, Nikolay Kropachev noted that such potential of the University helps to solve the most complex problems. He also proposed to start cooperation between SPbU and all leading universities, research centres and industrial companies of Sichuan Province.